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Children caught carrying weapons in south-west schools

Children caught carrying weapons in south-west schools

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:20am 16th October 2019. (Updated at 2:49pm 16th October 2019)

Details have emerged about the children caught carrying weapons in schools across the south-west.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed a 14-year-old was given a youth caution after bringing in a sword.

Other pupils of the same age in the region were found to have been carrying a BB gun and a corkscrew.

Nationwide, a four-year-old was among 1,383 children caught carrying weapons into schools in just over a year.

However experts fear the true figure could be higher, as several forces did not respond to the Freedom of Information requests.

What were the cases of children caught carrying weapons?

  • A four-year-old found carrying an unnamed weapon by Dyfed Powys Police
  • Devon and Cornwall Police cautioning a 14-year-old for bringing a sword to school
  • A samurai sword found by Greater Manchester Police
  • In Bedfordshire a schoolchild carrying a machete and another carrying firearm
  • In Cambridgeshire, a fidget spinner, a type of popular spinning toy, fitted with a spike
  • Nunchucks found on a 15-year-old in Leicestershire
  • Thames Valley police discovering a pupil carrying a bayonet

Youth worker Lucy Martindale lost 11 family and friends to murder, gun and knife crime during a seven-year period.

"The situation is getting worse, even just this year.

"Some young people I speak to say before they leave the house - where most people check they have picked up their keys and wallet or purse - they check they have their knives with them".

Lucy Martindale

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, has blamed cuts in policing and local services.

"These figures are grim but unsurprising and reflect a growing problem over the prevalence of weapons in wider society".

He added: "The scourge of weapons has grown worse in recent years, and while there are a number of complex factors involved, a key issue has been cuts in policing and local support services for vulnerable families.

"Schools are doing their best to tackle these problems, but they cannot possibly solve this issue on their own. 

"They need more back-up in the form of well-resourced community support services and more investment in policing".

Geoff Barton

Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, National Police Chiefs' Council lead for children and young people, said that these cases remain rare.

However she acknowledged that forces are seeing a small number of offences on school premises involving weapons.

"Serious violence is a growing problem amongst young people and we continue to work closely with partners to address this".

Olivia Pinkney

Pirate FM has contacted Devon and Cornwall Police for a statement.

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